Avison Young trims tri-state workforce

One source puts the layoffs as high as 100 employees

TRD New York /
Apr.April 21, 2020 05:55 PM
Avison Young CEO Mark Rose

Avison Young CEO Mark Rose

UPDATED 9:14 p.m., April 21, 2020: Avison Young has made cuts to its tri-state workforce as the commercial real estate firm girds its balance sheet against the economic downturn.

The Canadian-based company laid off employees across its tri-state offices in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, sources told The Real Deal.

The exact number of affected employees could not be immediately confirmed. One source put the figure as high as 100, but the company on Tuesday evening claimed it was closer to a dozen. The brokerage’s tri-state operation had grown to about 200 employees since launching in 2012.

A spokesperson for Avison Young initially declined to comment but directed TRD to a statement the company put out three weeks ago laying out “strict cost-containment measures” it was taking in light of the slowdown. They included temporary pay cuts for high-salaried employees, canceling events and suspending travel to “protect jobs and minimize layoffs or furloughs.”

Avison is the latest commercial real estate services firm to make cutbacks as the economy takes a hit from the coronavirus pandemic. Senior leaders at Newmark Knight Frank have reportedly been asked to take pay cuts and eliminate positions as affiliate Cantor Fitzgerald plans hundreds of layoffs.

Cushman & Wakefield recently announced its senior leadership will be taking reduced pay, and Paul Massey’s B6 Real Estate Advisors has laid off employees.

Avison Young launched its New York area operations eight years ago as it pushed to expand aggressively outside Canada with backing from Vancouver-based private equity firm Parallel49 Equity.

The company tapped industry veteran and longtime Cushman & Wakefield CEO Arthur Mirante to lead the effort. Mirante tapped former JLL vice president Mitti Liebersohn in 2015 to head up the New York City office, and in 2018 Colliers president Joseph Harbert joined the firm as president of the Northeast region.

Avison’s investment-sales ambitions got a boost that year when former Massey Knakal Real Estate Services and Cushman & Wakefield broker James Nelson joined the firm and started building up a sales team.

Avison ranked as the eighth-most active office-leasing brokerage in New York City and as the 11th most-active in terms of sales, according to TRD’s most recent tallies.

The company got a capital injection two years ago when Canadian pension fund manager Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec invested $250 million into Avison, buying out Parallel49 Equity’s stake.

Contact Rich Bockmann at [email protected] or 908-415-5229


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